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Department of Music and Dance records

Identifier: 05.DMD

Scope and Contents

The Department of Music and Dance documents the Music Conservancy, Music Department and the Department of Music and Dance at Eastern Michigan University from 1879 until 2016. The collection is arranged into four series: Department and Program Administration, Publicity and Press, Photographs and Realia, and Recordings and Sheet Music.

The Department and Program Administration series contains materials related to the opperation of one of the longest standing areas of student at Eastern Michigan University including budget and finance records, files on community partnerships, programs of student concerns and performances, correspondence, degree and certificate information, files for the department head documenting primarily the tenure of James Hause, faculty meeting minutes, program review, and staffing. This series is a comprehensive illustration of how one of the oldest departments in the University has evolved and supported the education of the performing arts, including musicians and dancers, and those who have gone on to teach music and dance and music and dance education. Of note in this series is a subseries on Community Bands that documents the Barnhill Concert Band programs and Community Music Academy, a Correspondence subseries that spans from 1979 until 2011 and the Concert Programs subseries which includes programs from the years 1879 until 2011, with gaps for the years 1897-1899, 1923-1931, and 1943-1964. .

The Publicity and Press series includes Promotional Materials, Newsletters, Calendar of Events, Fliers. In particular are three extensive subseries including Newsletters which is comprised of four different newsletters that were given out by the Department including Band Alumni EMUBAA, ConBrio, The Courier, and Music at EMU, Press series is comprised of newspaper clippings from 1980 until 2011 and News Releases from 1990 until 1999 and Promotional Materials subseries which includes Pamphlets and Postcards promoting upcoming shows put on by the Department of Music and Dance at Eastern Michigan University.

The Photographs and Realia series primarily includes large format photographs of performance groups including orchestras, choirs, and bands. In addition to these materials are performance items that include ticket stubs, a performance costume and a scrapbook of autographed performance headshots given to Frederic H. Pease from his students.

The final series of Recordings and Sheet Music includes recording of several concerts and performances at Eastern Michigan University and Michigan State Normal College that includes Concert Winds and Glee Club, Eastern Michigan University Madrigals, guest artists, poetry series, Symphonic Band, and Ypsilanti Normal Choir. The sheet music in this collection was either composed by faculty, staff or alumni and/or has a specific connection to the University such as the fight song.

The collection is not a complete record of the program given that not all directors, in particular the earliest directors, are documented.


  • Creation: 1879 - 2016


Conditions Governing Access

Researchers are asked to request materials 24 hours prior to visiting the the University Archives.

Historical Note

The Michigan State Normal School was founded in 1849 and in the second year, musical instruction began. Albert Miller was the first director of the program where he taught harmony and composition as there were no musical instruments.

In 1858, Ezra Meade Foote took over the program and promoted the study of popular music. Foote is credited with starting the first Normal choir, a source of civic pride. Frederic Pease, for which Pease Auditorium is named, became the third director of the music program and expanded it to include instruction in piano-forte, organ, melodeon and harmony, and an advanced course for teachers in “graded and district schools” as well as lessons on the violin. In 1881, during Pease's tenure, the State Board of Education authorized creation of a Conservatory of Music which allowed for advanced instruction, and application of skills in the Normal School's training school. Pease developed the first four-year music program at the School, implemented a series of events for the community such as weekly public recitals, an annual community concert by the Normal Choir, private lessons for local citizens, and the inclusion of local talent in the chorus and orchestra. Pease ran the program from 1863 until his death in 1909.

Frederick Alexander, for which the Alexander Music Building is named, took over the program in 1909. Alexander continued the tradition of community singing with the Normal Choir. In response to the growing interest in band and orchestral music in the public schools, Alexander expanded the program to include instrumental music education in the curriculum. He also oversaw the building and opening of the Frederic H. Pease Auditorium in 1915, a venue that drew not only campus events and performers but also groups and individuals of national and international prominence. The Detroit Symphony, Duke Ellington, John Philip Sousa, Pearl Bailey, Joffrey Ballet, Victor Borge, Cornelia Otis Skinner, Philadelphia Orchestra, Julian Bond, Shirley Chisholm, and Winton Marsalis all performed in the Pease Auditorium. Frederick Alexander retired in 1941 and when he died in 1955 he left a bequest of $90,000 to Eastern Michigan College which was used to purchase and install an organ in Pease Auditorum.

Haydn Morgan, replaced Alexander in 1941. A noted educator, choral conductor, author and composer, Morgan brought with him a commitment to the goals of music education, with a renewed emphasis on the proper training of young voices. In 1955, the Conservatory name changed, becoming the Department of Music at Eastern Michigan College. Morgan established the EMU Choir, Women’s Chorus, Men’s Glee Club, Freshmen Girl’s Vocal Ensemble, the Madrigal Singers and the EMU-Civic Symphony Orchestra. Morgan remained department head for 22 years.

Howard Rarig was the director of the Department from 1965-1971. During Rarig’s six years of service he credited with laying the groundwork for hiring applied music specialists on each instrument and became one of the first administrators to recognize the importance of development activities in support of department scholarships. James B. Hause, a recruit from Western Michigan University and oversaw the construction of the Alexander Music Building, completed in 1981, bringing together all of the Music Department faculty who had previously been housed in three different buildings on campus. In addition, during his 23 year tenure he saw the renovation of Pease Auditorium in the early 1990s. Hause retired in 1994.

Gordon McQuere, program director from 1996-2001, helped organize the 1996 alumni festival "Encore" to reopen the restored Pease Auditorium. In 2001, David Woike’s took over as director of the Department of Music which would become, during his tenure, the Department of Music and Dance. Woike retired in 2011. Diane L. Winder has been responsible for leading the Department as interim Department Head and subsequently as Department Head since 2012.


76.2 Linear Feet (23 record center cartons, 13 archive boxes, 2 oversize boxes, 2 reel to reel boxes, 2 tape boxes, 1 vinyl box, 6 cassette boxes, 3 RPM boxes, 14 oversize folders, 5 objects)

Language of Materials



The Department of Music and Dance records documents the Conservatory of Music, the Music Department and lastly the Music and Dance department at Eastern Michigan University from 1879 until 2016. Materials are arranged into four series: Department and Program Administration, Publicity and Press, Photographs and Realia, and Recordings and Sheet Music. Included in the collection are performance programs, departmental meeting minutes, materials related to program review and community partnerships, newsletters, promotional materials, clippings, photographs and records. Although it is not a complete record of the Department it does document the long standing history of this Department.

Accruals note

University Archives continues to add materials to the collection. To reflect additions, edits to the finding aid will occur at the end of each calendar year.

Related Materials

There are personal papers of former Music Department professors including:

Dorothy James papers [010.DJ]:

Frederick Alexander papers [010.FA]:

Joseph Gurt papers [010.JG]:

Frederic H. Pease papers [010.FP]:

There are papers related to the Music Department Spaces including:

Frederic H. Pease Auditorum records [015.FHPA]:

Frederick Alexander Music Buildling records [015.FAMB]:



Department of Music and Dance records
Records of the Music Conservatory
Courtney Dornberg, Elizabeth Searls, Brooke Boyst
2012 Janurary 23
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Eastern Michigan University Archives Repository

Bruce T. Halle Library, Room 310
955 West Circle Drive
Ypsilanti Michigan 48197